Applicants for the scholarship are judged based on extracurricular activities, demonstrated leadership, professional potential, financial need, personal goals, contribution to Florida wildlife and a letter of reference from a wildlife professional. The Florida Wildlife Federation co-sponsors the scholarship.
Monica Folk, chair of the FLTWS Scholarship Committee, cited Carly’s participation in a number of internships, research projects and international learning opportunities. “She conducted research on black skimmers, resulting in a peer-reviewed publication with her advisor, Beth Forys [Ph.D., professor of environmental science and biology and the Richard R. Hallin Endowed Chair of Natural Sciences],” says Folk. “She has traveled to the Galapagos, Switzerland and Puerto Rico to study ecology, vegetation, permaculture and sustainability. Locally, Carly’s volunteer and work projects have included telecounseling other students, biology-lab teaching assistance, organic gardening and compost system management, beach cleanups, and building her own website on the importance of protecting biodiversity.”
As this year’s awardee, Carly will receive $1,500 and be recognized at the FLTWS Spring Meeting on March 24.
Carly says she plans to take a year off after she graduates and then consider graduate school. “The day I found out was also my birthday, so it made my day that much brighter,” she says. “What a great present. This gives me a little more hope I won’t be in such a stressful situation after I graduate.
“When I think back to my time at Eckerd,” she adds, “I think how extremely personable the professors are and how important that is. They’re so willing to invite you onto their research teams.”
“She worked for me during her sophomore year, developing and testing methods to measure attributes of birds from photographs to determine their sex,” Forys says. “This research resulted in a paper that will be coming out soon in the journal Waterbirds. Her junior and senior years she was awarded the very prestigious [Mitacs] Globalink Research Internship, a fully funded internship from the Canadian government.”
The FLTWS Undergraduate Student Scholarship was established in 1998 to recognize and financially assist undergraduate students pursuing a career in wildlife biology at a four-year school in Florida, during their junior or senior year. In 2008, the scholarship was renamed the Greater Everglades Student Memorial Scholarship.